Seems like one of the biggest trends in cycling is ceramic bearings and bearing upgrade kits. I sort of got lured into this discussion about upgrade kits myself. It is not hard to explain why.
I’ve been running my current Dura-Ace FC7710 bottom bracket for more than a year now. When I first got it I was really surprised how sticky it felt. I mean there is sticky and STICKY. After that comes the FC7710. The axle did not rotate freely at all. I through with little use it would get better over time. Yeah, right!
Because of my power meter I’m kinda stuck with the Octalink bottom bracket. I had no problem with that, until I started to look around for ceramic bearing upgrade kits that would somehow match with the BB. I know that there is a way of upgrading bearings to Shimano’s 5500 but do not have all the details to go about it.
The 7710 is a different story. It has a compound bearing structure, meaning ball and needle bearings both, which means you cannot do anything about it. At least so I through.
Few weeks ago I received a spare BB and thought, the hell with it, I’ll try to see what’s inside the old one. I was able to gently remove the black seal/washer and have a look inside. There was nothing much to look at. The only noticeable thing was the neon green, sticky, almost glue like grease, that was all over the place. If nothing else I can at least get rid of that and see what happens. So I sprayed the insides of the bearing with a cleaning solvent until the the colour of the liquid coming out of the bearing was no longer green. Then filled the bearing with PTFE spray. That seemed to do the trick.
Here’s how the 7710 works after removing all the factory grease. Not bad! I have no glue what happened to durability of this BB but at least it spins!